A Satisfaction of Judgment was entered recently against AT&T pursuant to a claim of religious discrimination that originated back in July of 2005. AT&T, the United States’ largest provider of telephone, wireless, and internet services, was found to be guilty of religious discrimination when it suspended and subsequently fired two male customer service technicians after the two had attended a Jehovah’s Witnesses convention from July 15 to July 17, 2005.
In October of 2007, a twelve-person jury awarded $756,000 in damages, an award that was upheld on appeal and increased to $1.3 M with interest and front pay. The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), which brought the lawsuit on behalf of the two employees, strongly denounced the action in claiming that the choice between employment and a sincerely held religious belief should never have to be made.
The EEOC also made it clear that if a company chooses to partake in such blatant religious discrimination, that the law will demand there is a high price to pay for such actions from management. Additionally, Judge Leon Holmes of the Eastern District of Arkansas, who presided over the proceedings, also granted an injunction against the communications company prohibiting them from perpetrating any further religious-based employment discrimination.